Day 6: Someone I Like and Why I Like Them
Trip down memory lane to January 2012, my father and I were taking a lazy afternoon stroll around the market place, looking for a quiet place where he could, for the first time, drink Alvaro without his peers noticing him. Yes, it was just about the time that Alvaro and Novida were hitting the market and my father was having a hard time accepting that it was not alcohol.
Hivyo ni vinywaji vya kuwaburudisha vijana pekee!
In case you are surprised, my old man speaks fluent Swahili. I hear it runs in the family, because my ninety-year-old grandfather says ‘hiki kikombe ni kichafu’ and not the usual ‘hii kikombe ni chafu’. Also, my younger sister drops these huge Swahili vocabularies such as mkongojo and kisunzi, that still gets us laughing till this day.
So, my dad and I finally get to this shop and as we sit down, carefully taking down his first sip of Alvaro, we begin talking about books, mostly the Swahili set books I read while in high school, and comparing them to those he read during his time. He asks if I need any more books, and when I decline, he realises there is something preoccupying my mind.
Him: What is it?
Me: I cannot stop thinking about what I will score when the KCSE results will be out.
Him: Don’t worry. You will definitely do well.
Me: You do not understand. There are a lot of answers I think I got it all wrong.
Him: So, how will worrying help you out? We do not even know whether the examiner will mark your script or not.
When the results were finally out, I had passed. I remember my dad calling, all excited on the other end of the call. I could guess he wanted to break into a song, only that he loves his peace so much he wouldn’t want to cause any kind of commotion. Within two days, every one in the family had known his daughter is a great mathematician with a deep passion for science.
So, the writing challenge limited me to one person I like and all my senses drove me towards my father. Maybe I will not be able to give enough reasons why I like him, but somethings are better felt than explained.
Sometimes I like to think that the reason I have such a deep connection with books is because I got introduced to them at a very young age. When my agemates were busy with Tom and Jerry, I was so busy with books I didn’t even have time to live that childhood dream. Up to date, I can never identify any cartoon character from my childhood, big reason why I also have trouble with watching animations.
But hey, I look at my books now and all I see is my father. I still call him to discuss various books, or when I have forgotten a certain character from a book we read together. I still ask him if he has got any new books, and his reply is always ‘sina kile ambacho hujakisoma’.
I am not saying that appearing on the dailies is quite a huge thing, but the first thing my father said when he read the article was, ‘I always knew you have a way with books. Keep reading. You never know.’
Sometimes, I like to imagine that all that I have learnt in this life almost always points back to my father.
My father has taught me that perfection is a dream most people die before waking up from. That we are not perfect, and as much as we try, we will always have flaws we could never get rid of. We will always put our best in all we do, but sometimes we will fail terribly and almost give up. He has taught me the fact that in our quest for perfection, no one should ever be ashamed of their scars. That our scars define us. That there is a need to own up to our mistakes. To look our scars straight in the eye and tell ourselves all is not lost.
He has taught me that however good I may try to be, not everyone will see it. Not every deed we do will be perceived as it should be. Some may see them as desperation moves. Or a longing to belong. Or to associate with others. Some may see it as manipulation. But that should not stop you from doing what you feel is right.
My father has taught me that resilience is not as easy as it sounds. It is hard to be resilient. It is expensive and draining. It hurts the heart, body and soul. It is not for the faint hearted. And it is not meant for everyone. But if you continue giving yourself more chances, you will definitely get there.
Also, he has taught me that things will not always go as I wished. My prayers will not always be answered, no matter how hard I pray. That at some point in life, my friends will leave in search of themselves. That most will not have the courage to tell me whatever is going on, and all that is okay. That no matter what you do, people will leave. Not sooner, but eventually. Some will leave as silently as they came, dragging with them any little thing they gathered while in your life. Others will bang the doors and notify every one of their departure.
Others will tear you apart. Break your heart into a million pieces. Put you to shame, despite all that you had done together. At the same time, others will pull you into the warmest of hugs, and you will both have to fight your tears. They will wish you all the best, and keep sending you postcards from wherever they will be.
And all that is okay. They are human too. Humans react differently to different situations.
My father has taught me that forgiveness is not just a word. It is a deep feeling that is accompanied with letting go and allowing the guilt not to eat you up any more. And letting go is not an easy task. But once you let go, forgiveness will come naturally. Don’t stress over it. If it was meant to be, it shall be.
So, when I grow up, I want a heart as beautiful as my father’s. I want a laughter as hearty as his. I want an assurance as calm as his. I want to be proud of my daughters as he is, flaunting them wherever I go. I want my children to want to be like me. I want them to talk about me with so much pride in their eyes. And when all goes wrong, I want them to come home straight and talk to me.
See you tomorrow!!